Application to the Commission

Variance, Similar and Compatible with Use and Temporary Use Applications

Under the Community Planning Act, the appointed Planning Review and Adjustment Committee of Capital Region Service Commission have the authority to grant variances, or minor adjustments, to development and zoning requirements.  Variances may be granted if they are considered to be desirable for the development of land and are in keeping with the general intentions of the Rural Plan and associated zoning provisions.

Capital Region Service Commission may:

  • Grant a temporary use permit for a development otherwise prohibited by the regulation, for a period not exceeding one year;
  • Allow a use not otherwise permitted if it is similar to or compatible with a use permitted for the zone in which it is situated;
  • Allow a variance from the zoning provisions if it is desirable for the development of a parcel of land or a building and is in keeping with the intentions of the Rural Plan;
  • Permit the reconstruction of a legal non-conforming building, when not more than half of the structure has been damaged;
  • Allow a non-conforming use to be changed to a similar non-conforming use;
  • Permit reasonable variance from the subdivision regulation, if it desirable for the development of land and is in keeping with the intentions of the Rural Plan.

For more information on variances, or to complete an Application for a Variance, an Application for a Temporary Use, an Application for a Similar or Compatible Use, or an Application for Terms & Conditions,  please contact the Capital Region Service Commission office.

Similar To and Compatible With: If you wish to use your property in a way that is not listed in the zoning, one could make an application to Capital Region Service Commission to determine if the use could be considered similar to or compatible with a use that is permitted in the zoning.

Terms & Conditions: An application to Capital Region Service Commission may be required for some uses that are permitted but are subject to terms & conditions.

Variances: Individuals that may not be able to meet the zoning provisions may apply to Capital Region Service Commission for a variance in the requirements, example: lot size, building setbacks from public roads or neighbours, or width frontage requirements of a lot on public roads.  These variances may be granted if they are considered desirable for the development of land and are in maintaining the general intent of the objectives of the Rural Plan.

Temporary Use: Capital Region Service Commission may authorize for a period of up to one year a use otherwise prohibited by the zoning while an applicant applies for a rezoning to the Province.

Legal Non-Conforming Uses: Any building, business, farm or land use that does not meet the zoning requirements of the Rural Plan but existed before it was adopted may be referred to as a non-conforming use.  Sometimes people refer to this as being “grandfathered.”  However, people may not realize that there are terms and conditions applied to non-conforming uses and they are not exempt from zoning, as most people believe.  These uses may continue unless the use is discontinued for 10 consecutive months or unless over half the structure has been destroyed.  Except as required by statue or by-law a person shall not enlarge, expand or structurally alter a building containing an existing non-conforming use. Capital Region Service Commission may approve extensions to the use; or a change in use.

Rezoning Applications

The zoning provisions included in Rural Plans are used to implement the policies and proposals of a Rural Plan, protect the public from potential land use conflicts and guide future development in the community.

Rezoning: If a landowner wishes to use or develop their land in a manner that does not comply with the present zoning of the Rural Plan, an application for rezoning may be submitted to the Provincial staff at the Department of Environment and Local Government.  When an application is made to change the zoning of a piece of property and establish a new use.  The decision makers will look to the Policies and Proposals of the Rural Plan for guidance about what the community desires for the future and issues that need to be addressed.  A rezoning application consists of a public hearing process that allows local residents the opportunity to voice their views prior to the Minister making a decision.

Legal Non-Conforming Uses: Any building, business, farm or land use that does not meet the zoning requirements of the Rural Plan but existed before it was adopted may be referred to as a non-conforming use.  Sometimes people refer to this as being “grandfathered.”  However, people may not realize that there are terms and conditions applied to non-conforming uses and they are not exempt from zoning, as most people believe.  These uses may continue unless the use is discontinued for 10 consecutive months or unless over half the structure has been destroyed.  Except as required by statue or by-law a person shall not enlarge, expand or structurally alter a building containing an existing non-conforming use.  Regional Service Commission 11 may approve extensions to the use; or a change in use.

Development that does not comply with the zoning provisions but is consistent with the intentions of the Rural Plan may be considered by Capital Region Service Commission for rezoning.  Please contact Capital Region Service Commission to discuss your proposal before completing a Rezoning Application form. 

The rezoning process generally follows the following steps:

  • Application is made to the Minister of Environment;
  • Capital Region Service Commission considers the application and prepares a background report;
  • If the Minister chooses to proceed with the application, two notices are published in the local newspaper announcing a public hearing;
  • A Public Hearing is held and the public’s comments are submitted to the Minister of Environment and Local Government;
  • The public can send their written comments to the Minister from the time the Public Hearing notice is published until 14 days after the Public Hearing;
  • Capital Region Service Commission PRAC makes a recommendation to the Minister of Environment;
  • The appropriate Local Service District Advisory Committee (LSDAC) makes a recommendation to the Minister of Environment; and
  • The Minister has 6 months from the date of the Public Hearing to approve or refuse the rezoning application.

For more information on rezoning or for assistance completing a Rezoning Application, please contact the Capital Region Service Commission office.

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